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Jason Allen 26/06/18

The Great Masked Ball

The Great Masked Ball | Partner Content

London’s best new immersive experience is based on Swan Lake.

It’s right here in black and white.

It’ll take place at a secret (and slightly insane sounding) South London location for 5 weeks this summer, fusing dancing, decadence, theatre, live music, and full-on banquet into one fairy tale spectacular. And now you’re getting first dibs on their newly released August dates. But be warned, after these tickets are gone, there can be no more. The Ball has to vanish in mid-August. Apparently, it’s fairy tale rules.


The show itself comes from the makers of In Nights Darkling GloryThe main banquet has been designed by Masterchef winner Tim Anderson whilst the ultra-exclusive Chef’s Table option comes from Natalie Coleman. Who is also a Masterchef winner. The sets have all been designed by Darling and Edge (who also put together the stunning Beauty and the Feast, as well as Planet Gingerline, and the Alice’s Adventures Underground bar), and they’ll be populated by 40 dancers, musicians from the Royal Philharmonic, actors and performance artists. They’re led by this year’s Critics Circle Male Dancer of the Year, Liam Riddick. And just in case they weren’t quite enough for you, the makers also procured a directing team that have worked for the Royal Opera House, National Theatre and Metropolitan Opera, New York.

Oh, and the music has been cobbled together by a fellow called Tchaikovsky.


First, you need to pick a side: Natalie Portman or Mila Kunis black swan or white.

Then, this being a masquerade ball, you need to slap on your mask (you can BYO, or snag one from their mask shop in advance or on the night), before  wandering into the venue – Prince Siegfried’s Palace – and waltzing through its glittering halls. And given how integral dancing is to the whole experience, that may well be quite literal.

You can then grab a drink at the bar, should you choose, before the Queen’s Banquet starts. In true Swan Lake fashion, it’ll be a Russian feast with the likes of smoked beef stroganoff and nutty buckwheat pilaf (with, of course, veggie/vegan options available), washed down with a complimentary aperitif. For the more decadent ball-goers, Natalie Coleman’s Chef’s Table will net you four courses of braised pigs cheeks, squid ink veloutés, roast game and pressed apple tarts.

After the dinner, you’ll then take to the floor to dance beneath the stars with masked “commoners and nobles alike” at the ball (featuring an apperance by The Black Swan), before at last heading out into the forest to find the thing everyone’s so het up about: the White Swan herself. Here, the full orchestra will come to bear, the dancers will take flight, and the legend of the Lake will come to life before your eyes.

After drinking it all in drop-jawed, you’ll come to life too as the secret forest afterparty cranks into gear, and you drink in something else entirely. You have until midnight…

…before you all swan off.


NOTE: The Great Masked Ball has now taken place.

Like Theatre? Check out our guide to The Best London Theatre Shows right now.